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The Stages of Intoxication by BAC

Published on October 13th, 2019

Blood Alcohol Content

Driving under the influence of alcohol may be one of the most commonly committed crimes in the United States. Many people who get caught driving after an evening of drinking may claim that they didn’t believe the amount of alcohol they consumed was enough to impair them. Across the country, a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher means a person is legally too intoxicated to operate a vehicle. If you aren’t sure what it takes to get to that level or what the side effects are, familiarize yourself with the stages of intoxication. Doing this may help you think twice before drinking another beer and grabbing your keys.

One Drink – Sober

Unless you are a very small person (under 100 pounds), one drink will usually not lead to impairment. You may measure some level on a breathalyzer, but it is less than .05 BAC. At this stage, you are still very much in control of your faculties and judgment may not be affected.

Two to Four Drinks – Intoxicated

When the floodgates open and you start drinking more, you will begin to feel the effects of the alcohol. Between two and four drinks, a person may start to consider themselves buzzed. This is usually when euphoria sets in. A breathalyzer test will probably find you intoxicated under most state laws with a BAC of .06 to .12. Some women may reach this level after two drinks, while some men may not hit it until they’ve consumed four. Regardless, a court of law will likely find the test results enough to convict you of driving under the influence.

During this stage, your judgment begins to suffer, as does your reaction time and impulse control. A police officer may observe you driving erratically, swerving, not maintaining a consistent speed, or even stopped in the middle of the road. Some people may pass out behind the wheel.

Five Drinks and Above – Dangerous Levels

Anything beyond four drinks usually approaches a dangerous level. When too much alcohol is consumed in a short period of time, a person may start to experience memory loss or even black out. When this happens, there is an entire chunk of time missing because of the extreme amount of alcohol surging through the body. The liver cannot synthesize it quick enough, and it begins to impact the nervous system severely. Breathing may weaken. Some people experience alcohol poisoning, and if drinking continues or there is no medical intervention, an individual may die from it.

Looking out for your welfare and the welfare of others should be your priority. When you decide to drink and drive, you are acting negligently. If you get arrested on suspicion of impairment, a DUI attorney, like a DUI attorney in MD, may be able to assist in your defense.

Thanks to The Lawfirm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., for their insight into the stages of intoxication by blood alcohol content.

 

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